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Earthquake tsunami rumours shake St. Lucia

The National Emergency Management Organisation Thursday sought to put to rest rumours in St. Lucia that the region was about to be hit by another powerful earthquake, triggering a tsunami. The rumours arose following a number of aftershocks from last Thursday’s 7.3 magnitude tremor - the latest of which occurred here Wednesday morning. The rumours were sufficiently widespread to warrant a reaction. "It appears that the aftershocks of last week’s earthquake are not just occurring in the form of tremors, but psychologically it seems the tremor has left its mark on the St. Lucian population. Many are still on edge and the slightest shake-up causes panic...The fact that we have had two significant tremors, one each on Tuesday and on Wednesday, has not helped as word was all over the island that an earthquake or aftershock should be expected within hours. This resulted in a flurry of activity, with some parents leaving work to pick up their children at school."

In Barbados, panic also ripped across the country for a few hours, in response to rumours of a second earth tremor. There was no official closure of schools but some allowed children to leave at least an hour early, while calls flooded media houses and emergency agencies for most of the morning and early afternoon. Most callers expressed fear about a shaking in St Lucia but checks with the Department of Emergency Management and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency proved it was merely a rumour, based on the aftershock felt in St Lucia, St Vincent and Dominica.

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